Saturday, January 4, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Nets 89, Cavs 82
By Mike Mazzeo
NEW YORK -- The Brooklyn Nets put together just their second winning streak of the season, beating the Cleveland Cavaliers 89-82 Saturday night at Barclays Center.
What it means: Momentum. Back-to-back wins. The Nets are 12-21 now. Guess you have to start somewhere, right? Brooklyn’s only other winning streak (three games) came from Dec. 7-12.
Deron Williams (21 points -- 15 in the first half) and stretch-four Paul Pierce (17 points) led the way in scoring.
Bench work: The reserves did most of the heavy lifting in the fourth quarter. Mirza Teletovic (nine points) and Andray Blatche (12 points), back after missing four games due to personal reasons, ignited a 7-0 run in the final period that gave Brooklyn a 76-67 lead.
Joe cools: Joe Johnson’s shooting struggles continued (1-for-7). He is 15-for-50 from the field in his past five games. Thank goodness for that buzzer-beater in Oklahoma City two nights ago, huh?
Third-quarter woes: The Nets held a 51-38 lead at the half. As usual, they lost most of it in the third quarter, when they were outscored 27-16 and shot 3-for-13 from the field.
Pierce's milestone: With his second basket of the evening, Pierce (24,383 points) surpassed Allen Iverson (24,368 points) for sole possession of 19th place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. Next up is Patrick Ewing (24,815 points).
KG sits: Kevin Garnett was given a rest day. Reggie Evans started in his place and scored a season-high eight points while snagging 11 rebounds.
AK-47 strong: Andrei Kirilenko brought energy, effort and eight points in his 14 minutes of action.
Lose the tie: In very important news, the Nets are 2-0 when coach Jason Kidd doesn’t wear a tie.
No Irving: Kyrie Irving did not play for Cleveland. This made things easier.
Up next: The Nets practice Sunday and then face the Atlanta Hawks on Monday night at home.